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F5 Fires Up File Virtualization

NEW YORK CITY -- WAN optimization specialist F5 unveiled the roadmap for its $210 million Acopia acquisition during its analyst meeting today, describing its plans to gain a foothold in the storage market.

"I know that [the Acopia acquisition] wasn't well received, but I am mega, mega, excited about it," said F5 CEO John McAdam, alluding to skepticism about the vendor's ability to integrate the file virtualization specialist.

F5 execs outlined a major overhaul of Acopia's flagship ARX hardware during this morning's call. "In the next 12 months we will start to do migration to the new platform," said Karl Triebes, F5's CTO, explaining that this will involve the launch of three new devices: the 1G, 4G, and 10G.

Acopia's current high-end device is the ARX 6000, a switch that competes with Brocade's NuView and EMC's Rainfinity in the file virtualization space. The ARX 6000 is capable of sustained throughput of 2.6 Gbytes per second, F5 says, and Triebes promised that the new hardware will offer up to eight times that performance.

The series will start with the 1G and 4G next year, with the 10G following sometime in 2009. The high-end 10G will use F5's next-generation chassis, code-named Montreal.

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